NFL Betting: Rookie Shaq Thompson Cleared to Play
Rookies never have it easy as they come into their pro teams. What you should aspire to do is to go all in and cause the best first impression possible in order to earn accolades from your teammates, coaches and NFL Betting fans who are watching closely. Carolina rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson returned to full practice after nursing a pulled hamstring and appeared at full strength.
— Shaq Thompson (@ShaqThompson_7) May 1, 2015
The 25th overall pick out of Washington, where he was a three-time All-Pac 12 selection while playing multiple positions, is expected to team alongside All-Pro Luke Kuechly and veteran Thomas Davis to provide the Panthers one of the NFL’s most athletic linebacker trios.
Rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson still hasn’t had his “Welcome to the NFL” moment, but he was finally able to introduce himself to his teammates and coaches on the field. Thompson had his best play as a member of the Panthers Tuesday when he intercepted a Derek Anderson pass near the goal line, showing some of the instincts and athleticism that led Carolina to selecting him in the first round of the draft.
Thompson drifted back toward the goal line, read Anderson’s eyes and stepped in front of a pass intended for Brenton Bersin. Thompson returned the ball to about the 30-yard line before stepping out of bounds as Anderson gave chase.
Thompson flashed his athleticism with at least 74 tackles in all three collegiate seasons while adding five interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns of 36 and 80 yards. He was also taken in the 18th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft by Boston and played one season of rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League. Thompson’s absence provided more reps for third-year veteran A.J. Klein, who has started 10 of 30 games for the Panthers. The Iowa State product provides a more physical presence than the faster Thompson, providing a solid change of pace to fit altering situational game plans.